Saturday, December 23, 2006

nearing the end

Soooo.... finally able to start on the last sleeve for Cheesylove. The additional yarn came from Knitpicks last week, and lucky for me the two dyelots seem to match exactly, but I'm still alternating between the two skeins just in case I'm just not seeing the difference under the light in my apartment. It is good to know the end is near. I wish I would be able to have it done in time for Christmas Eve, but I'm not sure I'll have the time.

Hmm... now that I think about it, should I try?

I have an orphans Christmas again this year. Christmas Eve will be spent at the Soft Spot drinking egg nog (the real stuff, including alcohol, which I've never even tried before), and Christmas Day will be spent with my friend Michelle, doing some sort of crafty business, watching Polar Express, and eating paté. Personally, I really prefer low-key holidays.


Monday, December 18, 2006

cookies = friends

This I have learned tonight.
I will now bring cookies with me everywhere I go.
Why haven't I learned this earlier?

On a different note: check out my buddy Willie's new EP. Or at least check out some of his songs here for free on myspace. I neglected to mention that his record release party that happened last week. He is not only talented, but one of the sweetest people in the world, and I am super-excited for him releasing his first EP!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

holiday cookies

Mmmm... Christmas baking! I haven't made cookies in years, but I've been itching to make some for the last couple of weeks. I finally caved and bought a hand mixer last weekend so I could do some baking.

As a teenager I baked all of the time. While I was in college I worked at the popular cafe/coffeeshop, where I did the baking a couple times per week. Billions of muffins, cookies and brownies. As a student, it was pretty rough to have to get up at 5am for a baking shift, but I always preferred it to waiting on customers or running the grill. I could hide away in the basement and listen to Kate Bush or Dianne Rehm on NPR. I was told I made the best peanut butter cookies ever, and actually got kinda famous(ish) for them among the regulars.

These, however, are not peanut butter cookies. These are ginger snaps. I used this recipe from Allrecipes. Very simple and they make a nice crispy cookie that stay soft in the center once they cool. I'm on a sugar high right now. I'll be crashing in 5....4....3....2......

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

i <3 ms

Martha Stewart had a bit on her show today about felted sweater projects - namely mittens. Apparently there is a feature in the holiday magazine this month with a number of projects–stuffed animals, pillows, etc, but there is sooo much stuff on her website that I couldn't find most of them there. Then again, I think the point was to get people to check out the printed magazine anyway.

In showing the possibilities of felting, she did a quick showing of this cool knitting basket, made from a felted fisherman's sweater that I thought was really really pretty, and there is even a tutorial on her website here. Easy!

I really would like to browse around her site some more. There's actually a lot of really cool projects over there. I love how a lot of her craft projects are fairly easy, but there is something so very simple and pretty about them.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

from the archives

I was digging around and came across this old FO.

Before starting Cheesylove (a verrryy looong time ago), I whipped up this wristband just to try my hand at some colorwork. This is from the pattern in the first Stitch 'N Bitch book. It wasn't really ever meant to be a piece to show off or anything, just a practice swatch, but I do find myself wearing it occasionally. The two yarns really don't match. The Lamb's pride worsted looks great, but the decoration yarn is of a different weight and you can see it pulling in a little. Somehow, some way, people still seem to like it :)

at it again

Another winning pattern from Zephyr Style. Wicked has a ton of customizing options and should be available by Christmas.

Here's the description:
Wicked is the perfect sweater to add to any collection! The pattern includes instructions for a worsted weight and a lace weight mohair sweater. It also includes instructions for cap sleeves, 3/4 sleeves, long sleeves and for adding a pocket... This pattern truly is a "choose your own adventure" knit, no matter what your skill level may be.

Wicked is adaptable for any season as well as any body type, you can simply pick the version that will work best for you! It is knit from the top down and in the round. If you choose to add the pocket it is knit separately, then knit into the bottom of the sweater, requiring very little seaming and there is NO seaming for a pocketless version! The small cable detailing is beautiful and so easy to create - you don't even need a cable needle!

Powerless but Productive

Faulty heat in our apartment had both me and my roommate running space heaters in our rooms on Friday night. Our electronics-rich apartment wasn't so happy about it and the power went out around 1am. The problem is that we don't have the circuit breaker in our apartment, so we have to call it into our management company. The rest of Friday night was spent shivering in many layers and blankets with dim candle light.

I took the opportunity to start on the Marsan Watchcap from Red Lipstick, but without internet connection to check the pattern, I started winging it. I did a couple inches of straight ribbing, but realized that my yarn selection (Brown Sheep Nature Spun) was making for a rather thin hat. So I plan to frog that and re-start either with another yarn, or by using the same yarn, but double-stranded.

Once I got stuck with that pattern, I moved over to the Cottage Socks from Lion Brand (pictured above). Lucky for me the pattern is on the ballband, so no internet connection necessary! These are knit out of Wool Ease Thick and Quick on US13 needles, which is making for a very cozy, soft fabric that knits up very quickly.

We finally got power back on about 18 hours later–lucky for us, our super fixed up our heat as well, so hopefully we'll be avoiding any more power outages for the rest of the winter.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

cheesystalled

I'm nearing the end of my first sleeve for cheesylove. Problem. I've realized I won't have enough yarn to finish the second one. If anyone who happens across this blog and happens to have a skein or two of Knitpicks Merino Style in Coal, dye lot 84297, please send me a message or leave a comment and perhaps we can work something out. (I've emailed KP's customer service a few days ago, but haven't gotten a reply yet).

I took a chance and ordered two skins of the color I need from Knitpicks, in another dyelot. I'm really crossing fingers for this one. I plan to alternate the new yarn with the old yarn and hopefully Camouflage any discrepancies between the colors...

Sunday, December 03, 2006

looking forward to 2007

It's looking like 2007 is going to be a great year for knitting books! I'm particularly looking forward to these two pictured here.

Wenlan Chia of Twinkle is coming out with Big City Knits first in February. I LOVE the Twinkle clothing line, and some of her patterns have been published in Vogue Knitting in the past. I haven't actually tried any of them, but most are done with chunky yarn on large needles, and I like that. I saw some sort of style tv show last spring where she was interviewed, and it's obvious that she is crazy-prolific, and crazy-creative, but also keeps things light and fun.

I'm also looking forward to seeing Stefanie Japel's (who does the Glampyre blog) book, Fitted Knits—out in March. Stefanie always comes out with incredibly unique patterns and has interesting constructions that are insanely clever. From the description, it looks like there will also be some instruction on how to customize existing patterns to make well-fitted garments. I think that Stefanie mentioned on her blog that she will be able to post some images of some of the projects at some point soon, so keep your eyes peeled!